Marx and Anarchism [Unduh pdf] - Rudolf Rocker

Ebook Title          : Marx and Anarchism
Ebook Thickness  : 14 Page
Language : English

Some years ago, shortly after Frederick Engels died, Mr. Eduard Bernstein, one of the most prominent members of the Marxist community, astonished his colleagues with some noteworthy discoveries. Bernstein made public his misgivings about the accuracy of the materialist interpretation of history, and of the Marxist theory of surplus value and the concentration of capital. He went so far as to attack the dialectical method and concluded that talk of a critical socialism was impossible. A cautious man, Bernstein kept his discoveries to himself until after the death of the aged Engels; only then did he make them public, to the consequent horror of the Marxist priesthood. But not even this precaution could save him, for he was assailed from every direction. Kautsky wrote a book against his heresy, and at the Hanover congress poor Eduard was obliged to declare that he was a frail, mortal sinner and that he would submit to the decision of the scientific majority.

For all that, Bernstein had not come up with any new revelations. The reasoning he put up against the foundations of the marxist teaching had already been in existence when he was still a faithful apostle of the marxist church. The arguments in question had been looted from anarchist literature and the only thing worthy of note was that one of the best known social democrats was to employ them for the first time. No sensible person would deny that Bernstein’s criticism failed to make an unforgettable impression in the marxist camp: Bernstein had struck at the most important foundations of the metaphysical economics of Karl Marx, and it is not surprising that the most respectable representatives of orthodox marxism became agitated.

None of this would have been so serious, but for the fact that it was to come in the middle of an even more important crisis. For almost a century the marxists have not ceased to propound the view that Marx and Engels were the discoverers of so called scientific socialism; an artificial distinction was invented between so called utopian socialists and the scientific socialism of the marxists, a distinction that existed only in the imaginations of the latter. In the germanic countries socialist literature has been monopolised by marxist theory, which every social democrat regards as the pure and utterly original product of the scientific discoveries of Marx and Engels.

But this illusion, too, vanished: modern historical research has established beyond all question that scientific socialism only came from the old English and French socialists and that Marx and Engels were adept at picking the brains of others. After the revolutions of 1848 a terrible reaction set in in Europe: the Holy Alliance set about casting its nets in every country with the intention of suffocating socialist thought, which had produced such a very rich literature in France, Belgium, England, Germany, Spain and Italy. This literature was cast into oblivion almost entirely during this era of obscurantism. Many of the most important works were destroyed until they were reduced to a few examples that found a refuge in the tranquillity of certain large public libraries or the collections of some private individuals.

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